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Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts (Read 489 times)
 
Tom Coghill
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Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:11am
 
I am doing a demo at my club this next month on Vacuum Chucking.  I would like to include a list of "Do's and Don'ts".

I am looking for sage advice from the forum to supplement my list (which is short so far)


Do

When possible, use your tailstock.  Use the vacuum system as an alternative means of holding the wood

Monitor your suction level when working – setting it and forgetting it can lead to unexpected results

Make sure your tools are sharp and take fine gentle cuts

If the wood is exceptionally porous, use painters tape on the OUTSIDE to slow the leaks

Provide ample filters to protect your vacuum pump from ingested debris


Don’t

Use a vacuum chuck when applying the first coat of a finish – unless you like uneven finishes

Use a vacuum chuck when applying the dyes or colors to raw wood – unless you like uneven finishes

Set the vacuum suction too high when turning thin pieces

Use a vacuum chuck green wood

Use a vacuum chuck until you KNOW the application of a finish has cured
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« Last Edit: Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:12am by Tom Coghill »  
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #1 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 11:08am
 
you have a long list, much of which IMO should not need to be told but all to often needs to be.
Much of this is personal preference and/or safety level.
I typically don't use the tail stock (kind of defeats the purpose of the vac chuck)

Filters,
Filter/s are there to keep debris from entering and damaging the internal workings of the pump. You only need one filter installed between the pump and the suction, putting a filter before the gauge is not necessary (actually useless). If you use a manifold or gauge block you might want to use one to keep the fixture clean but it is not necessary. As long as a filter is the last thing in line before the pump inlet, that is all that is necessary.

My vac gauge is mounted at the head stock in plain unobstructed view.

I won't get into using sharp tools or inspecting wood for defects, this should be done with every piece, regardless of mounting method.

I don't apply finish with the piece mounted to the vac chuck so I won't comment on that practice.
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #2 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 11:54am
 
Thanks for the review Ed.  My audience will be of all levels, so while many of these are obvious to those who use a vacuum system, I want to include info for those considering purchasing a system.  I want to be sure that they know the limits.

I am accepting and requesting that anyone add to this list. I may send the completed list to the Safety Topics list on this site - for "safe keeping".  Wink
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #3 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 12:31pm
 
Do have the "bell" of your vacuum as large as possible, so that the atmospheric pressure outside the "bell" is distributed over a large area of the piece.

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Grant Wilkinson
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #4 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 12:38pm
 
I prefer using stretch wrap over painters tape

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Also, its smart to keep the RPMs low.

It escapes me what this is called, it prevents the loss of vacuum in case of a power loss. It goes inline with the hose. I learned this the hard way.
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #5 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 2:56pm
 
Ron - That would be a vacuum reservoir.  It slows the loss of the vacuum if power is lost.  I don't have one, however I work in a space (garage) that has no windows.  So, if the power goes out, it goes PITCH BLACK.

Not sure if I could react to catch my turning, or if my reactions would be better spend just stepping towards the tailstock and out of the way Shocked Shocked Cheesy
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #6 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 5:12pm
 
Yup, that's what its called. Don't know why I couldn't think of it before.

You'd be better stepping back unless your name is Flash.
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Dave Delo
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #7 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 5:45pm
 
On the Don't side......Don't turn the vacuum off before turning the lathe off. Could get interesting.
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Ken Vaughan
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #8 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 9:23pm
 

My emergency response training point to the need to have a plan/protocol for what to do if vacuum is lost.

Bowl cracks, power fails, motor overload shuts it down, etc, circuit breaker pops, etc.

This is kind of like training kitchen help not to try to grab a knife when one drops.......    For many turners they will first reaction try to save the piece.   The better answer to practice is to get behind the tail stock. 

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Ed Weber
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #9 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 8:57am
 
Tom Coghill wrote on Apr 17th, 2017 at 2:56pm:
That would be a vacuum reservoir.  It slows the loss of the vacuum if power is lost.


You can also install a check valve so that in the event of power loss, the vacuum will be held by the system. How long or how well this holds depends on your system, your seals and your wood.
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #10 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 12:20pm
 
I know it's obvious to us, But on the list should be "Not to use cracked or highly spalted wood."

Glenn J.
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #11 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 1:09pm
 
Smiley DON'T forget to support the piece when you turn off the vacuum. Huh Roll Eyes  Smiley
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Re: Vacuum Chucking - Do's and Don'ts
Reply #12 - Apr 18th, 2017 at 7:43pm
 
Here's a video that has a lot of good info on vacuum chucking.

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